A Device That Turns Sweaty Fingers Into a Gadget Charger

Scientists have created a device that uses sweat from your fingertip to generate electricity. The flexible and thin strip wraps over the tip of a finger like a Band-Aid and converts sweat molecules into small amounts of electrical energy that can be used as a charger. The device can work without the wearer having to move a muscle because perspiration is constantly created by the fingertips.

A Device That Turns Sweaty Fingers Into a Gadget ChargerAccording to Joseph Wang, a professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego, this device provides a net gain in energy with minimal effort from the user by exploiting sweat on the fingertip.

From Sweat to a Charger

Bioenergy harvesting-based self-powered wearable systems are renowned for demanding excessive energy inputs. Because it doesn’t require any real input from the user to work, research co-author Lu Yin, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego, noted in a release that this gadget is “a step ahead to making wearables more practical, convenient, and accessible for the ordinary person.” Temporary tattoos that transform sweat into energy were previously tested by UC San Diego researchers.

It’s Still a Work In Progress

While the new device can create electricity and be used as a charger, it’s still not time to throw out your tangled cords and finicky sockets. According to the researchers, the device can hypothetically power low-power electronics in the milliwatt range, such as a wristwatch, but it is not yet suitable to power high-performance electronics like smartphones.

Attaching the prototype to a fingerThe goal, according to Yin, is to make this a useful device. This isn’t simply another fancy device that produces a small quantity of energy and then disappears. People can use it as a charger and put the energy to good use by powering useful equipment like displays and sensors.

The sweat glands on our fingers can produce 100 to 1,000 times more sweat than the rest of our bodies. However, because sweat evaporates nearly rapidly from fingertips, determining how sweaty they are can be difficult. It is snatched up by this cutting-edge technology before it can reach it.

The wearable collected 400 millijoules of energy while a test patient slept for 10 hours with the gadget on a fingertip, enough to power an electronic wristwatch for 24 hours (but not a smartwatch). According to the experts, attaching devices to more fingertips would yield much more energy.

These Are the Best Tech Books to Read in 2020

2020 has been a weird year so far, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been plenty to celebrate. That includes the release of some incredible tech books, from Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley to Joanne McNeil’s Lurking. If you’re looking for something to read in the coming weeks, these should keep you plenty busy.

These Are the Best Tech Books to Read in 2020

Uncanny Valley

Anna Wiener’s Uncanny Valley gives a glimpse of life in the technology industry, including some surprising revelations about what goes on behind the scenes. The book offers an excellent insight into the world of technology, though you may come away from it more disillusioned with the industry than you’d initially expected.

No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram

Instagram is a social media giant, so it was inevitable that a book like Sarah Frier’s No Filter would pop up eventually. If you’ve ever wondered how the photo-focused app came to be, then this is definitely worth your attention. It takes you on a rollercoaster ride from Instagram’s small beginnings to its purchase by Facebook, and all the drama that followed.

These Are the Best Tech Books to Read in 2020


Activism has played an essential role in 2020, so it makes sense that this book is one of the best this year has to offer. A collaboration between three communication professors, #HashtagActivism examines the role that social media and technology have played in modern activism. It’s an essential read for anyone interested in fighting for justice, especially at a time when leaving the house isn’t always possible.

These Are the Best Tech Books to Read in 2020


Many people are obsessed with social media, and in Joanne McNeil’s Lurking, we come to understand why that is. The book explores what it is that users crave and how sites like Facebook cater to that. It’s an interesting investigation into why the world has become so reliant on online spaces, and the way that social media has truly affected us all.

Here’s hoping the rest of 2020 offers us more tech books just as captivating as these.